▪ What is a Group Discussion?
- We find people discussing various social, economic and political issues.
- The discussion can be both formal and informal. Informal discussions take place at a restaurant, club, canteen, bus stop or at home.
- Formal discussion takes place at an office, meeting, and conference or at the recruitment.
- A discussion group is a group of individuals, typically who share a similar interest, who gather either formally or informally to discuss ideas, solve problems, or make comments.
- Group discussion is interactive process, where each member expresses his/her experiences or views verbally in a group
▪ Importance of Group Discussion
- As a student, it helps you to train yourself to discuss and argue about the topic given, it helps you to express your views on serious subjects and in formal situations. It improves your thinking, listening and speaking skills.
- Group discussion is important skill for professional success. The members have to contribute to the group discussion and help the group in discussion making process.
▪ The following proves the importance of Group discussion:
1. Problem solving
- When a problem arises the concerned people discuss it.
- They exchange their idea about the problem and its possible solutions.
- The solutions are discussed and the best option is chosen by the group
▪ For example:
- Meeting of cabinet ministers
- To pass the new amendment bill
2. Decision making
- Whenever there is a need to take a decision, the matter is first discussed by a group and the different aspects are analyzed for effective decision
3. Personality Assessment
- Group discussion is used as a technique for personality assessment of a candidate for selection or admission.
- The member of the selection committee evaluate different skills and find out a person with leadership qualities.
- Group discussion shows the qualities of a candidate.
- The candidate should have ability to discuss, present their ideas and points effectively, develop ideas logically and respond to the views of the member
Characteristics of Group Discussion
- Successful Group discussion should achieve group goal. To make a Group discussion successful it is important to know its characteristics.
▪ The following are the characteristics of successful Group discussion
1.Agreement on group goals
2.Goal oriented communication
3.Agreement and procedures
4.Co-operative and friendly atmosphere
5.Use of effective communication technique
6.Equal distribution of participation
1.Agreement on group goals
- A Group discussion should begin with a purpose which is to be shared and understood by all the group members.
- If everybody knows the goal they can be more active and contribute in a better way.
2. Goal oriented communication
- Successful Group discussion should develop and promote meaningful communication.
- The discussion should motivate the members to interact.
. Agreement and procedures
- In Group discussion the members should develop a procedure.
- They will decide how to organize individual views, how to exchange ideas and how they will reach to a group agreement.
- If the group fails to do so there can be aggressiveness, dominance and monopoly and the entire process becomes meaningless.
4. Co-operative and friendly atmosphere
- In a Group discussion there has to be co-operative and friendly atmosphere.
- Disagreements do exist but it should not lead to serious conflict.
- Each member should understand and appreciate different points of other.
- This will make the process easy and broaden the thoughts of the group.
5. Use of effective communication technique
- Speak clearly using simple words, short sentence and proper pronunciations.
- Use non-verbal communication tactfully. Try to be a good listener and encourage others to speak.
6. Equal distribution of participation
- Each member is important and no one is allowed to dominate the discussion.
- Try to bring reluctant and shy members into Group discussion.
7. Shared leadership
- There is no elected or formal leader in Group discussion.
- The leadership functions are to be shared and performed by the other members also.
- The members come forward for leadership tasks like starting the discussion, keep the discussion going, making summary and checking the group progress.